Matoke – Ugandan Beef and Plantain Stew

Plaintains and green bananas (matoke) are a staple part of the diet in Uganda and much of East Africa. Matoke is also the name given to a delicious, rib-sticking plantain stew that is a Ugandan national dish. Versions of matoke, also known as matooke, are served in Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

Matoke - Ugandan Beef and Plantain Stew
Matoke is one of the traditional main dishes in Uganda and can be made with or with the meat.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 - 8 plantains or green bananas, peeled and diced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 green chilli peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • ¾ tablespoon ground coriander, or to taste
  • 450 g stewing beef (optional), cubed
  • 2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups water or beef stock
  • salt, to taste
  1. Peel the plantains, cut into cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice, and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or pan over medium-high flame. Add the onions and capsicum and saute until the onion is cooked through and translucent, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli peppers and coriander and saute for another minute or so.
  3. Stir in the beef and tomatoes and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. Add the beef stock or water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the plantains, cover, and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the beef is tender and the plantains have softened. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.
If you use green bananas for this dish, make sure they are very green. Lightly green bananas that you find in your typical supermarket won't work. You need a special, extra-green type that is used specifically for cooking. Many Latin and Asian markets carry them.

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